Journal Article

Merging Mouse Transcriptome Analyses with Parkinson's Disease Linkage Studies

Daniel Gherbassi, Lavinia Bhatt, Sandrine Thuret and Horst H. Simon

in DNA Research

Published on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute

Volume 14, issue 2, pages 79-89
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1340-2838
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1756-1663 | DOI:

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The hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD OMIM #168600) is the degeneration of the nigral dopaminergic system affecting approximately 1% of the human population older than 65. In pursuit of genetic factors contributing to PD, linkage and association studies identified several susceptibility genes. The majority of these genes are expressed by the dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. We, therefore, propose expression by these neurons as a selection criterion, to narrow down, in a rational manner, the number of candidate genes in orphan PD loci, where no mutation has been associated thus far. We determined the corresponding human chromosome locations of 1435 murine cDNA fragments obtained from murine expression analyses of nigral dopaminergic neurons and combined these data with human linkage studies. These fragments represent 19 genes within orphan OMIM PD loci. We used the same approach for independent association studies and determined the genes in neighborhood to the peaks with the highest LOD score value. Our approach did not make any assumptions about disease mechanisms, but it, nevertheless, revealed α-synuclein, NR4A2 (Nurr1), and the tau genes, which had previously been associated to PD. Furthermore, our transcriptome analysis identified several classes of candidate genes for PD mutations and may also provide insight into the molecular pathways active in nigral dopaminergic neurons.

Keywords: dopaminergic neurons; substantia nigra; neurodegenerative disease; candidate genes

Journal Article.  5731 words. 

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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